Marguerite de Sablé



Marguerite de Sablé was born abou 1179 in France to Robert de Sable and Clémence de Mayenne. She was the eldest of three children, only two of which survived to adulthood. Her brother, Robert, died as a child and her younger sister was Phillipa. Her father was a Grand Master of the Knights Templar and died in the Holy Land on September 23, 1193. At this point Marguerite had been married for two years to William des Roches, Seneschal of Anjou, a knight in the Third Crusade, she was second wife. Her father’s death made the young couple extrememly wealthy and William a very powerful man. The pair had three children, Robert who died young as his uncle before him, Jeanne and Clemence. William died on July 15, 1222.

She supported the two abbeys that her father founded. In 1200 she lands to the abbey at Perray aux Nonnains which her uncle added to. And in 1209 they had the abbey at Perray-Nauf moved to closer to Sable. In 1227 she donated to the nuns at the Abbey at Bonlieu to pray for the souls of her departed family. In 1235 she supported the monks at the Church of St. Nicholas of Sable.

Marguerite died in 1238 (around the same time as their daughter Jeanne) and is buried in Perray-aux-Nonnains, France while her heart is buried with William at the Abbey at Bonlieu.


Jeanne, Dame de Chateaudun


Jeanne, Dame de Chateaudun was born around 1227 in France. Her father was Geoffrey VI, Viscount de Chateaudun and her mother was Clémence des Roches. She married Jean I de Montfort in March of 1248 and the pair had a daughter, Beatrice. Jean died during the Seventh Crusade in 1249 while in Cyrpus. She married again, this time to Jean de Brienne, Grand Butler of France and son of the King of Jersuluam and Emperor of Constantinople in 1251. She had her second daughter with her new husband, Blanche. In 1265 she attained the additional title of Dame de Chateau-du-Loir. She eventually passed on her title of Loupeland to Blanche. It is unknown when she died.



Bertrada of Prüm



Bertrada of Prüm was born about 670, her parentage is uncertain and there are three main possibilities (well 2.5, two of them can both be true). Her husband has been lost to time though his mother was most likely Irmina who was the daughter of Hugobert and Chariveus, Count of Laon. What is known is that she had three children, Hardrad, whom she outlived, Charibert of Laon and Weta who married Cario. She and Charibert founded the Benedictine Abbey at Prum in Lorraine on July 23, 720, they also made donations to the Abbey of Echternach. Through Charibert she is the great grandmother of Charlomagne and well almost everyone in my family tree.


Margaret Wake, 3rd Baroness Wake of Liddell and Countess of Kent

Margaret Wake, 3rd Baroness Wake of Liddell and Countess of Kent was born was born about 1297 to John Wake and Joan de Fiennes. When she was about 15, so in 1312, she married John Comyn who was killed at the Battle of Bannockburn on June 24, 1314. Their son, Aymer, died as a toddler in 1316. At Christmas time in 1325, she received dispensation to wed again, this time to Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent. The pair had four children before he was beheaded for treason in 1330. She and the three children had been imprisoned as well, the youngest John was not yet born when her brother was also accused but was later pardoned. When Edward III took control of his crown he brought Margaret and her children to his household and treated them as if they were his family, which helped lead to Joan’s marriage to Prince Edward. She gained the title of Baroness of Wake but it was short lived, she died in the fall of 1349 of plague.


Anne Beauchamp, 16th Countess of Warwick



Anne Beauchamp, 16th Countess of Warwick was born July 13, 1426 at Caversham Castle in what is now Berkshire. Her father was Richard Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick and her mother was his second wife, Isabel le Despenser. She married Richard Neville after being betrothed to him in 1434 (yes she was eight, he was six). They were then married in April of 1436 in a double ceremony that also included her brother Henry and Cecily Neville With her father dying then her brother Henry and his daughter Lady Anne Warwick Neville inherited the title of Warwick along with other lands through his wife. Her three older half sisters contested this. Her sister Eleanor was married to Edmund Beaufort who was closely related to the Nevilles. Richard Neville was the grandson of Joan Beaufort, Edmund’s aunt. This increased tensions between the two families. It took many years, and a Papal dispensation to eat eggs and meat during Lent to help her bear children., The couple finally had two daughters, Isabel, who married George, the Duke of Clarence(this required another Papal dispensation since Edward IV did not approve of it) and Anne who married Prince Edward first and then Richard, Duke of Gloucester who of course became Richard III. The marriage of Isabel and George caused the small family to flee England for a time during which Isabel had a stillborn son while on the ship, Calais had turned them away.

Richard Neville was often sent out of the country and there is some reason to believe that Anne went with him at least some of those times, so though the marriage was a political one they seemed content even thought Richard fathered at least one illegitimate child during the marriage.

Because of bickering over Anne’s estate Richard gave up most of the Warwick lands, which had, been held in his wife’s name and his Salisbury lands to George as well as the office of The Great Chamberlain of England. Edward inherited those lands and titles after his father was executed for treason in 1478. Anne outlived her husband, daughters and sons in laws and passed away in obscurity she was not even at the Coronation of Richard. An act of Parliament in 1474 had labeled her officially dead leaving her lands split between her sons in laws. She had petitioned Henry to receive some of her lands back with the stipulation that they would return to the Crown upon her death. She died on September 20, 1492.


Godgifu, Lady Godiva



Godgifu, Lady Godiva

Godgifu, or Lady Godiva as she is now known (it isn’t just a candy company) was a 11th century noblewoman married to Leofric, Earl of Mercia, who was her second husband. They were both well known for donating to the church and she was the driving force behind his founding of the Benedictine monastery at Coventry in 1043. Her name also shows up with his on endowments at Stow St Mary, Lincolnshire and a land grant to the monastery of St. Mary, Worcester in the following decade. They also donated largely to other monasteries, in money, land, jewelry and artwork. She also joined her sister, Wulviva, in given manors to the cathedral at Hereford. Unfortunately after the little skirmish in 1066 occurred and a lot of it was carried off to Normandy.

She died before the Doomsday Book was published in 1086 but she is listed as one of the few Anglo-Saxon and only female major landholder. She is most likely buried with her husband at Coventry but, “According to the Chronicon Abbatiae de Evesham, or Evesham Chronicle, she was buried at the Church of the Blessed Trinity at Evesham, which is no longer standing.”1 She was so well thought of that when William the Conqueror (or Bastard, or hell uncle Will) gave away her grandsons lands and titles, he did not remove hers from her.

Now the legend tells a different tale. In the 13th century a story came about that her husband was a cruel and tightfisted Lord who was starving his peasants. She begged tax relief for them and—now here is a varience—she either took it upon herself to shame him, or he dared her, but she supposedly rode naked through the town to sway him. Now, did you ever hear of a “Peeping Tom” well, that phrase is part of the legend. Supposedly Leofric ordered everyone to stay indoors with their doors and shutters closed so they would not gaze upon her. Except one man, Tom, grew too curious and peeped out through his shutters. Some say he was blinded by God for doing so, others the townspeople. There is no proof for her ride, or of a tailor named Tom taking a look. In fact, it smacks of the remains of a fertility festival OR an early Christian practice of penitents humbling themselves but stripping to their undergarments. But naked means naked so that’s not a point agreed on by many.

Sources 1

Sir Richard Cholmondeley

Sir Richard was born in 1460, he was the son of John Cholmeley and Joan Eyton. He began life as a wealthy land owner and sheep farmer and soldier and ended it as  Lieutenant of the Tower of London. He was knighted in 1497 for valor in battle against the Scots. He has been fictionalized in the Gilbert and Sullivan’s Opera The Yeoman of the Tower.


Ermengarde of Tours and Empress of the West, Queen of Italy and Queen of the Franks



Ermengarde of Tours and Empress of the West, Queen of Italy and Queen of the Franks was born in 804 in Alsace France the daughter of Hugh of Tours and Ava she became the wife of Emperor Lothair I of the Franks. She most likely spent much of her childhood Sainte-Julie monastery to Brixen, which is in modern Bressanone in northern Italy. She was eventually elected to the abbatial seat there. She married on October 15, 821 in Thionville. Lothair granted her the protectorate of Brixen Abbey, which she defended throughout her life. The two began life happy but the coup of Louis the Pious’ sons (which were discussed in an earlier post and Lothair had taken part in) and the kidnapping of her daughter Ermengarde strained the couple. In 836 her uncle granted her lands in Alsace where she made a sanctuary. She donated to the Abbey of Gorze and Abbey of Ernstain where she was eventually buried. She died on March 20, 851 which was Good Friday.

The 9th century Irish teacher and poet, Sedulius Scotus wrote, “Her voice is as pure as gold and clear as the note of zither. Her skin is as roses mixed in snow. Her blonde hair circles her head like a chrysolith. Her eyes are lively, her white neck like milk, lillies, ivory. Her graceful hands are like the snow.”


Anna Schaffner

This post isn’t about a member of a royal family or a kidnapped beauty. Anna Schaffner lived in Muttenz, Switzerland and and was the wife of a linen weaver.  She was born in November of 1700 and married to Hans Jacob Brubeck on September 20, 1720.  He died sometime in 1748 and she and their children decided to immigrate to America. Her children arrived in Pennsylvania on August 30, 1749, she did not. Anna died sometime between May 8th when they left Germany and the end of August when the ship landed in Philadelphia. There are no Wiki’s about her, her parents aren’t known she is a side note to geneologists but she was a wife, mother, daughter and explorer. She was an immigrant.

Mary Stewart, Princess of Scotland and Countess of Arran

Mary Stewart, Princess of Scotland and Countess of Arran was born on May 13, 1453 in Stirling Castle to James II and Mary of Guelders. By 10 she was an orphan, James II died of a cannon explosion and Mary died young as well. At 13 she was married off to her first husband Thomas Boyd and she was given the Isle of Arran as her dowry, just what everyone teen girl needs, her own island. While Thomas went off to Denmark to bring his royal brother in laws new wife to him James was turned against him. Mary met her husband as the ship docked and they ran off to Denmark together. In 1469 he was charged with treason and all his lands and titles were forfeited to the crown. Mary ran back to Scotland to plead for her husband and the father of her two children but instead her brother imprisoned her, annulled her marriage in 1473.

In 1474 she married again, this time to a man 40 years her senior, James Hamilton, 1st Lord Hamilton. In 1476 they received a Papal dispensation for the marriage which legitimized their eldest two children.

Her eldest son, Thomas, was killed by Lord Montgomerie and led to a seventy year long feud.

Mary died in May of 1488.